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Children’s Mental Health Awareness and Maine’s Department of Continuous Quality Improvement: THRIVE snapshot

June 11th, 2013

May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month and Maine continues to provide leadership on the subject of mental health and trauma.  James Yoe, PhD, Director of the Office of Quality Improvement for Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services and also the lead evaluator for the THRIVE Initiative’s original SAMHSA grant, provides a snapshot of THRIVE’s data and poses questions that every system of care should consider.

“Trauma Exposure and Post Traumatic Stress Among THRIVE System of Care Participants”: one of a two part series highlighting the importance of creating a trauma-informed system of care. Published in the May 2013 Quality Improvement Snapshot report.

Maine’s Office of Continuous Quality Improvement May 2013 QI Data Snapshot THRIVE


Moving: THRIVE, Youth MOVE & Diversion to Assets

September 4th, 2012

THRIVE has new role in Juvenile Services grant,
Youth MOVE has new grant for Youth Courts

LEWISTON – As of October 1, THRIVE and Youth MOVE Maine (“Youth MOVE”) have new homes and new federal Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants to support. Diversion to Assets, Androscoggin County’s alternative juvenile corrections program, has also moved from previously shared office space at 124 Canal Street.

THRIVE is the newly announced training and technical assistance partner for the Department of Corrections Division of Juvenile Services’ new four-year, $4 million SAMHSA grant, Expanding Trauma-Informed System of Care Practices in Maine. THRIVE’s new operations center for trauma-informed training and technical assistance is located at 26 Bridgton Road, Westbrook.

“Lewiston was well-suited for our first six years serving mental health agencies and community-based programs in the Tri-County area,” said Arabella Perez, THRIVE Executive Director. “We became an independent organization last October and expanded our services state and nationwide adding juvenile corrections as a child-serving systems partner. We are thoroughly pleased that the work with Maine’s juvenile services will continue through this new grant. The move complements our new business model.”

Youth MOVE, the statewide chapter of Youth Move National, received its own three-year $600,000 grant to establish Youth Courts in the greater Brunswick and Portland areas.

“We’ve expanded from one to four regions since 2009,” said Ryun Anderson, Youth MOVE Maine Director, “offering young people skills building workshops and opportunities to join committees and workgroups that guide the improvement of mental health, child welfare and juvenile justice service delivery. The Youth Court grant allows us to collaborate with partners and further develop programs they established for prevention, treatment and recovery support for 11-18 year olds with first-time, non-violent offenses who are also at risk for substance abuse and mental health challenges. These youth and young adults will also receive skills-building opportunities within a restorative justice framework.”

Youth MOVE’s temporary central office is at The Community School at Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester. The Diversion to Assets program and Youth MOVE’s Lewiston group have moved to new meeting and office space in town at Tree Street Youth Center.


Maine Awareness Campaign Receives Bronze Award

July 28th, 2012

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign Wins Bronze for
Excellence in Community Communications & Outreach

ORLANDO, FL - G.E.A.R. Parent Network and Youth MOVE Maine accepted the bronze award in the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign category on behalf of collaborative partners Children’s Behavioral Health Services and THRIVE at the Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach recognition ceremony July 26. The awards are sponsored by the federal Substance and Mental Health Services Administration’s Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign.

G.E.A.R. launched Maine’s monthlong award-winning 2011 campaign with its traditional Tailgate Kick-off for families, youth and child-serving health and human services providers in the parking lot of the Office of Child and Family Services. During the first two weeks of May, G.E.A.R.’s Family Advisory Councils for Empowerment Statewide distributed 140 toolkits to mental health agencies and other community-based, child-serving organizations from Caribou to South Portland. The kits contained a total of 35,000 children’s mental health awareness items.

“We asked providers to share the contents with the families they serve,” said Carol Tiernan, G.E.A.R. Director. “The kits contained information on where to go for support groups and workshops, articles and personal stories  of hope and resiliency, explanatory cards to hand out when a child is acting up , inspirational magnets, and sunflower seed packets from our conference with Youth MOVE.”

At the annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day celebration at the State Capitol’s Hall of Flags, more than 30 service providers heard seven youth and family members share inspiring stories of resiliency and emotional wellness in the face of challenges ranging from abuse and teen pregnancy, juvenile incarceration and autism to a learning disability and depression. Adults spoke of the difference a family organization can make, as well as the benefits of intergenerational resiliency.

“We’re delighted that our Hall of Flag speaker was part of a larger story that ran during the May campaign detailing our expanding efforts statewide to support youth in Maine,” said Ryun Anderson, Youth MOVE Maine Director. May has been national Mental Health month since 1949.

The final piece of the campaign was the “What Families and Youth Want” conference hosted by G.E.A.R. and Youth MOVE Maine with keynote speaker Stan Davis of Stop Bullying Now. Approximately 180 family members, youth and providers were treated to a full day of workshops and activities.

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G.E.A.R. Parent Network empowers parents of children with emotional and behavioral health needs to effect life decisions based on their family’s individual strengths and needs by providing safe and supportive avenues for: emotional support, problem solving, sharing common experiences, seeking knowledge about community resources and advocacy, identifying the strengths and needs of their child(ren) and families and accessing information and education related to children’s issues.
Youth Move Maine, a state chapter of Youth Move National, supports youth and adults with experience in service systems in building the skills, partnerships, policies and practices essential to making sure all youth are connected, resilient, growing and included in the decisions that impact their lives. For more information, go to: www.youthmovemaine.org
THRIVE trauma-informed trainings and technical assistance help child-serving providers and community organizations transform the way services are delivered to children and youth with serious behavioral health challenges and to their families.

Youth MOVE ME Wins Youth Empowerment Award

June 4th, 2012

 

Youth MOVE Maine award-winning staff (back from left): Jozalynn “Joz” Jones, Old Town;
Ashalie Wark, Manchester; Chesari Tempesta, Turner; Jennifer Herrick, Lewiston;
Jacinta Storer, Auburn, Diversion to Assets Coordinator; Ryun Anderson, Freeport;
(front from left): Dustin Stout, Lewiston, intern; Chelsey Everest, Portland; not shown: Faith Stevens, Rockland.  

LEWISTON – Youth MOVE Maine (YMM) received the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) ImpACT Award June 6 for being an Empowering Organization and “exemplifying the systematic engagement of youth ages 12-18 in decision-making and planning.”  The annual awards recognize youth and adults who are making an impact in their communities.

“We’ve expanded from one to five regions in the last two years,” says Youth MOVE Maine Director Ryun Anderson, “and tripled the number of participants. Our new website, www.youthmovemaine.org, and our Facebook page showcase the areas of leadership development, skill building, mutual support, community awareness and provider support, in which youth are creating positive change across Maine.”

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YMM, a state chapter of Youth Move National, supports youth and adults with experience in service systems in building the skills, partnerships, policies and practices essential to making sure all youth are connected, resilient, growing and included in the decisions that impact their lives. For more information, go to: www.youthmovemaine.org

MYAN, a program of the Opportunity Alliance, offers training, networking and leadership opportunities to youth and adults seeking partnerships for positive change.


THRIVE Nominated for Community Hero Award

March 19th, 2012

From left: Renelle Ray, Volunteer of the Year; Karen Voci, Executive Director, Harvard Pilgrim Foundation; Susan Greenwood, Executive Director, The Cromwell Center; Janet Wyper, Manager of Community Relations, LL Bean; and Ed Kane, Harvard Pilgrim Vice President, Maine

Harvard Pilgrim Hosts ’12 Spirit Awards

Portland – Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation feted Arabella Perez, Director, THRIVE, and fellow nominees at its Maine 2012 Community Spirit Awards March 15 at Portland Harbor Hotel. Fourteen total individuals and organizations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts were hailed by Foundation colleagues for their “deep commitment to giving,” their good corporate citizenship and public advocacy. THRIVE was nominated in the Community Hero category.

The Selection Committee comprising 2010 and 2011 Community Spirit Award recipients chose Renelle Ray as Maine’s Volunteer of the Year and The Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness as Maine’s Community Hero.


CDC: Half of Americans will suffer from mental health woes

September 6th, 2011

http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/mentalhealth/story/2011-09-05/CDC-Half-of-Americans-will-suffer-from-mental-health-woes/50250702/1

USA Today Your LIFE|Health                            By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay posted Sept 5, 2001 

About half of Americans will experience some form of mental health problem at some point in their life, a new government report warns, and more must be done to help them.

 One survey done in 2009 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 11 million people -- nearly five percent of the population -- experienced serious mental illness during the past year.
Getty Images/BananaStock 

One survey done in 2009 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 11 million people — nearly five percent of the population — experienced serious mental illness during the past year. Mental health issues run the gamut from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder to suicide, and many of those suffering presently do not get help, experts say. The new report, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tallied the national burden of mental illness based on country-wide surveys.  

There are “unacceptably high levels of mental illness in the United States,” said Ileana Arias, principal deputy director of the CDC. “Essentially, about 25 percent of adult Americans reported having a mental illness in the previous year. In addition to the high level, we were surprised by the cost associated with that — we estimated about $300 billion in 2002.”  

The high cost includes care for the illness and lost productivity, Arias said.It isn’t clear why so many Americans suffer from mental illness, Arias added. “This is an issue that needs to be addressed,” she said, not only because of the illness itself, but because mental disorders are associated with other chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

And while having a psychiatric illness is tough enough, the stigma surrounding these diagnoses adds to the burden, experts said.  ”Mental illness is frequently seen as a moral issue or an issue of weakness,” Arias explained. “It is a condition no different from cancer or other chronic diseases. People need to accept the difficulties they are having and avail themselves of the resources that are available.”  The report was published Sept. 2 as a supplement to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

One survey done in 2009 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 11 million people — nearly five percent of the population — experienced serious mental illness during the past year, defined as conditions that affected the ability to function.

In addition, some 8.4 million Americans had suicidal thoughts in the past year and 2.2 million made plans to kill themselves. One million attempted suicide, the report found.

Information from other sources confirmed these numbers, with slight variations, the report said.

Dr. John Newcomer, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, believes the problem may be even bigger than the CDC report indicates. For example, state Medicaid programs spend a great deal on drugs to treat mental illness, which the CDC didn’t take into account, Newcomer said. “For several years the top three drugs were antipsychotic drugs,” he noted.

Also, many people with mental illness hide the problem from others, Newcomer said. The CDC report looked at people already in the health-care system, “but there is a big problem with underdiagnosis and undertreatment,” he said. 

Dr. Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said healthy living — getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising — can help people avoid some mental illness. 

“Understanding how to deal with psychological stresses is also important,” he said. “How to deal with emotional reactivity and stress tolerances are also important skills to develop early in life.” 

Manevitz said people should always seek help for mental health troubles whenever “you are not functioning well in your life and isolating yourself.” 

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about mental health, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml


Youth MOVE Maine Celebrates at National Training Conference

July 27th, 2011

 Staffing the Youth MOVE Maine table at the national conference in Chicago are (from left): Jacinta Storer, Ashalie Wark, Chesari Tempesta and Ryun Anderson.               (Photo by Lisa Preney) 

State Chapter Active in Four Regions, Ready to Launch in Bangor 

CHICAGO – After three years of mobilizing support, Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National, now has 29 chapters in 25 states, including Maine. For the first time, Youth MOVE Maine joined colleagues and 1600 federally funded System of Care partners from across the United States at an annual Community Training conference July 19-21 to celebrate efforts to improve services for youth in mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

“It is great to connect with the national movement and with other states because we learn from each other and can effect change on a larger scale,” says Ryun Anderson, Youth MOVE Maine Coordinator.

Anderson and four staff shared that over the past year Youth` MOVE Maine has expanded from its core of young people in Lewiston to start groups and trainings for youth ages 14-25 in the midcoast, Kennebec Valley and southern Maine with a northern region just funded to start in October.

In the midcoast, a half dozen youth are engaged in peer support and trainings, including meditation, musical self-expression and leadership.

“We have ten youth from greater Portland advocating for better housing, and being trained in leadership and creative expression,” says Chesari Tempesta, Youth Resource Specialist.

In Augusta, 16 youth through partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club and Capital Clubhouse are tackling bullying and improved employment opportunities, in addition to attending leadership training and creative expression workshops,” says Ashalie Wark, Youth Resource Specialist.

The state chapter’s flagship group in Lewiston has 12 youth connected with the federal initiative Moving Forward working to improve housing, behavioral health services and employment opportunities, while taking cooking and other life skills classes.

To get in touch with a Youth MOVE Maine resource specialist, go to www.youthmovemaine.org  

Youth MOVE Maine, a state chapter of Youth Move National, supports youth and adults in building the skills, partnerships, policies and practices essential to making sure all  youth are connected, resilient, growing and included in the decisions that impact their lives.


Trauma-Informed Video Wins National Outreach Award

July 23rd, 2011

 

Video stars and presenters celebrate their “bridge building” on a Canal Street bridge in Lewiston (front left): Norm LeBlanc, Jennifer Collins, Jennifer Herrick, Joy Hodgson, Carol Tiernan, Rebecca Williamson and Lisa Preney; back row: Allen Hodgson and Jonathan Williamson.       (Photo by Carol Karczewski)

 

 “Together we can build a bridge” Earns Silver for
Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach

CHICAGO – THRIVE, Maine’s trauma-informed System of Care Initiative, and G.E.A.R. Parent Network accepted the silver award in the Professional Outreach category for Together we can build a bridge (“Bridge”) July 21 at the 2011 Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach recognition ceremony sponsored by the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration’s Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign.

The public service announcement by mothers and their children from Dixfield, Lewiston and East Livermore, Maine, urges child-serving providers to be “trauma informed” and “strength based.” From personal experience, the women also let families of children with significant behavioral health issues know they are not alone, that help is available, and “When you use your voice, you have a choice.”

“Our hometown bridges depict how isolated we felt when we first started out with a provider,” says Rebecca Williamson. “Families want help, but may not know how to get it or how to ask for what they need,” she says.

At the end of the video, the families stand together symbolizing the strength they’ve found in peer support and their readiness to use their own voice with child welfare, mental health and other providers.

“We want to bridge the abyss between us and them,” explains Joy Hodgson, “and meet providers halfway. We want them to listen to us and not judge us, to learn from us instead of trying to fix us. That way, our meetings can support an interchange of experiences and be cultural learning opportunities with the shared goal of getting our child’s needs met.”

Bridge has been viewed 1000 times to date on You Tube, and been broadcast by 40 Community Access TV stations to over 3.5 million homes  in 70 Maine communities; 13 other states, South Africa and New Zealand. It has been presented by members of Family Advisory Councils for Empowerment Statewide to hundreds of providers and service agencies at the state and local level throughout Maine. 

THRIVE trauma-informed trainings and technical assistance help child-serving providers and community organizations transform the way services are delivered to children and youth with serious behavioral health challenges and to their families.
G.E.A.R. Parent Network empowers parents of children with emotional and behavioral health needs to effect life decisions based on their family’s individual strengths and needs by providing safe and supportive avenues for: emotional support, problem solving, sharing common experiences, seeking knowledge about community resources and advocacy, identifying the strengths and needs of their child(ren) and families and accessing information and education related to children’s issues.

Research Links Child Trauma, Mental Health, Obesity

July 5th, 2011

Findings could encourage more PTSD diagnoses
HealthNewsDigest.com  June 8  2011

New research has shown that children’s risk for learning and behavior problems and obesity rises in correlation to their level of trauma exposure, says the psychiatrist at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital who oversaw the study. The findings could encourage physicians to consider diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder rather than attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which has similar symptoms to PTSD but very different treatment.

The study examined children living in a violent, low-income neighborhood and documented an unexpectedly strong link between abuse, trauma and neglect and the children’s mental and physical health: It reported, for instance, that children experiencing four types of trauma were 30 times more likely to have behavior and learning problems than those not exposed to trauma.

“In communities where there is violence, where children are exposed to events such as shootings in their neighborhoods, kids experience a constant environmental threat,” said senior author Victor Carrion, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford. “Contrary to some people’s belief, these children don’t get used to trauma. These events remain stressful and impact children’s physiology.”

The new study is being published online today in Child Abuse & Neglect; The International Journal. Carrion collaborated on the research with scientists at the University of New Orleans and the Bayview Child Health Center, part of San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center.

The findings provide compelling evidence that pediatricians should routinely screen children for trauma exposures, said Carrion, who is also a child psychiatrist at Packard Children’s.

“As simple as it may seem, physicians do not ask about trauma,” he said. “And kids get the wrong diagnoses.”

The study builds on earlier work that linked worsening health in adults with their dose of exposure to nine types of adverse childhood events, including being subject to various kinds of abuse or neglect; having a household member who abused alcohol or drugs, was incarcerated or was mentally ill; having a mother who was treated violently; and not living in a two-parent household. Middle-class men exposed to more of these events had more chronic diseases in adulthood, the prior research found. The results of the current study highlight the need for early identification of such adversity-associated health problems, and early intervention. Obesity, for example, may act as a mediator to other health problems such as diabetes, cardiac risk and inflammatory illness.

To perform the study, the researchers evaluated medical records from 701 children treated at a primary-care clinic in Bayview-Hunter’s Point, a San Francisco neighborhood with high rates of poverty and violence. About half the children were African-American; the rest came from other ethnic backgrounds. Each child’s exposure to adverse events was scored on a scale from 0 to 9, with one point given for each type of adversity. The researchers also evaluated the medical records for evidence of obesity and learning or behavior problems.

Two-thirds of the children in the study had experienced at least one category of adversity, and 12 percent experienced four or more categories. An adversity score of 4 or higher left kids 30 times as likely to show learning and behavior problems and twice as likely to be obese as those with a score of 0. Children with an adversity score of 1 were 10 times as likely to have learning and behavior problems as those not exposed to trauma.

Prior research has shown that about 30 percent of children in violent communities have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which can include the learning and behavior problems detected in the current study, Carrion noted. However, a physician unaware of the fact that a child experienced trauma, and noting the child’s physiological hyperarousability and cognitive difficulties, may diagnose ADHD instead of PTSD. That’s a problem because the two disorders have opposite treatments, he said. Kids with PTSD need psychotherapy, not the stimulant medications given for ADHD.

“Children can recover from PTSD with the appropriate treatment, which is one of approach and not avoidance,” Carrion said. “By not asking about trauma, we’re utilizing avoidance. We’re perpetuating PTSD.”

As part of their efforts to address the long-term health problems that stem from childhood trauma, Carrion, his collaborators and several San Francisco community partners are working to launch the Center for Youth Wellness, a one-stop health and wellness center for urban children and families in San Francisco. The Center for Youth Wellness will combine pediatrics with mental health services, educational support, family support, research and best practices in child-abuse response under one roof. With both public and private support, the center will coordinate the services of multiple agencies to give children a safe and accessible place to increase their resilience to adverse life experiences and improve their well-being.

The center, which aims to begin operation by mid-2012, is a partnership between California Pacific Medical Center’s Bayview Child Health Center, San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, Stanford’s Early Life Stress Research Program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Tipping Point Community. Nadine Burke, MD, director of the Bayview center, is also a co-author of the study.

“We need to create trauma-informed systems,” Carrion concluded, adding that the Center for Youth Wellness hopes to function as a model for such systems across the nation. People working for the welfare of children need to be on the lookout for trauma and know how to intervene, and how to work with the family and with schools, he said. “If trauma goes untreated, it’s very costly for the individuals involved and for society in general.”

The research was funded by the Lennar Urban Corp. and awards to Carrion from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Evans Foundation. For more information, visit www.lpch.org


Children’s Mental Health Awarenes Week Highlights

May 9th, 2011

Stories of Resiliency: Youth & Family Share Powerful Messages of What Works Best

     AUGUSTA — Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week got off to a great trauma-informed start in Maine!

     On May 3, at the Hall of Flags, Augusta, more than 30 service providers heard seven youth and family members share inspiring stories of resiliency and the stabilization of emotional wellness in the face of challenges ranging from abuse and teen pregnancy, juvenile incarceration and autism, to a learning disability and depression.  Adults spoke of the difference a family organization can make and family-strengthening intergenerational resiliency.

     Resiliency from within nurtured by family and other natural supports, as well as youth-guided, family-driven and culturally competent treatment goes a long way towards countering research that children, even as young as 18 months old, who are  exposed to traumatic events, can develop serious problems as they mature, including substance abuse, depression, anxiety and stress management issues. Click here for childhood trauma resources.

     May has been  Mental Health Awareness month since Congress established it in the late 1960s. Seven years ago, the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health declared the first week of May Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.  Last year, nearly 11,000 children participated in awareness events nationwide and the number of national organizations collaborating on this public awareness effort has risen from four in 2005 to 88 in 2011.

     Weeklong awareness events are now part of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) overall strategy to raise awareness that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth. Click here for SAMHSA’s 2011 Short Report on data demonstrating the effectiveness of Systems of Care and National Child Traumatic Stress Network grantees in treating children with trauma. To learn more, visit www.samhsa.gov/children.